10 Traditional Māori Foods to Try During Matariki

Matariki, the Māori New Year, is a time of feasting and celebration. Traditional Māori cuisine plays an important role in these festivities, with dishes that have been passed down through generations. In this article, we’ll explore 10 traditional Māori foods to try during Matariki.

  1. Hangi : Hangi is a traditional Māori method of cooking food in an earth oven. It involves heating rocks in a pit and then placing baskets of food, such as meat, fish, and vegetables, on top of the hot rocks. The food is then covered with damp cloths and earth to steam cook for several hours. Hangi is a popular dish during Matariki celebrations, and many marae (Māori meeting grounds) hold hangi feasts during this time.
  2. Rewena bread : Rewena bread is a traditional Māori bread that is made using a fermented potato starter, known as a rewena. The bread has a slightly sour taste and a dense texture. It is often served with butter and jam or used to make sandwiches.
  3. Boil up : Boil up is a hearty stew made with pork, potatoes, kumara (sweet potato), pumpkin, and other vegetables. The dish is often seasoned with herbs and served with steamed pudding or rewena bread.
  4. Paua (abalone) : Paua is a type of sea snail that is considered a delicacy in Māori cuisine. The meat is tender and has a slightly sweet taste. Paua can be eaten raw or cooked in a variety of dishes, such as fritters or stir-fries.
  5. Kina (sea urchin) : Kina is another type of seafood that is popular in Māori cuisine. The spiny shell of the sea urchin is cracked open to reveal the creamy, orange roe inside. Kina can be eaten raw or used to flavour dishes like risotto or pasta.
  6. Tītī – Tītī, or muttonbird, is a traditional Māori food that has been harvested for centuries. It is usually preserved by smoking and is considered a delicacy.
  7. Puha and pork Puha is a type of edible weed that is similar in taste to watercress. It is often cooked with pork and served as a side dish or added to a boil up.
  8. Fry bread : Fry bread is a simple bread made from flour, water, and baking powder. The dough is fried until golden brown and crispy. Fry bread can be served as a side dish or used to make sandwiches.
  9. Kūmara chips : Kūmara chips are a healthier alternative to traditional potato chips. The sweet potatoes are thinly sliced and then baked or fried until crispy. Kūmara chips can be served as a snack or as a side dish.
  10. Kina pâté : Kina pâté is a creamy dip made from blended kina, cream cheese, lemon juice, and garlic. It is often served as an appetizer with crackers or toasted bread.

In conclusion, traditional Māori cuisine offers a unique and delicious way to celebrate Matariki. From hangi feasts to kūmara chips, these dishes are a reflection of Māori culture and the connection to the land and sea.

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